Commentary

Week 15 inactives

Updated: September 7, 2010, 1:38 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 15. Here we'll be posting "live" updates and analysis as NFL teams release their inactive lists. Refresh often for the latest information!

Top players we're watching

Notable names ruled out before Sunday: Nate Burleson, Jeremy Maclin, Troy Polamalu, Neil Rackers, Brian Westbrook.

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI: Active
Steven Jackson, RB, STL: Active
Calvin Johnson, WR, DET: Active
Terrell Owens, WR, BUF: Active
Matt Ryan, QB, ATL: Active
Matthew Stafford, QB, DET: Inactive
Michael Turner, RB, ATL: Active
Vince Young, QB, TEN: Active

Late games (4 p.m. ET)

Brent Celek, TE, PHI: Active
Devin Hester, WR, CHI: Inactive
Zach Miller, TE, OAK: Inactive
Kellen Winslow, TE, TB: Active

Night game (8:20 p.m. ET)

Sidney Rice, WR, MIN: Active
Percy Harvin, WR, MIN: Active

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

7:42 p.m. ET -- Stewart active -- The Panthers' official Web site reports that Jonathan Stewart (toe, probable) is active. He'll share carries with DeAngelo Williams as he has in recent weeks, with Williams likely to receive more opportunities, albeit against the stingiest fantasy defense against running backs.

7:40 p.m. ET -- Rice, Harvin, Berrian active -- The Vikings' official Web site reports that the team's top three wide receivers, Sidney Rice (illness, questionable), Percy Harvin (illness, questionable) and Bernard Berrian (hamstring, probable), are active. Rice and Berrian are expected to start as usual, but Harvin is still a higher-upside fantasy option than Berrian, who has double-digit fantasy points just twice this season.

3:22 p.m. ET -- Devin Hester inactive -- The Bears' official Web site reports that WR Devin Hester (calf, doubtful) is inactive. That means Devin Aromashodu will start in Hester's place, though he, Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox might divide up the targets somewhat evenly. It's not a great matchup for any of the three.

3:19 p.m. ET -- Smith, Suggs active, Reed out -- The Baltimore Sun reports that TE L.J. Smith (ankle, questionable) and LB Terrell Suggs (knee, probable) are active, while S Ed Reed (groin, questionable) is inactive, for the Ravens. The most useful players here are Suggs and Reed, at least in IDP formats.

3:12 p.m. ET -- Mason active, Clayton, Washington out -- The Baltimore Sun reports that WR Derrick Mason (finger, probable) is active, though WRs Mark Clayton (knee, doubtful) and Kelley Washington (ankle, questionable) are inactive, for the Ravens. That thrusts Demetrius Williams into the starting lineup, if you're forced to scrape down deep for a fill-in. Mason should be the clear go-to guy in the pass attack, though. Justin Harper will apparently be the No. 3 wide receiver.

3:06 p.m. ET -- Hines Ward active -- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that WR Hines Ward (hamstring, probable) is active for the Steelers. He has a tough matchup versus the Packers, but is still a worthwhile play in most formats.

3:05 p.m. ET -- Charles Woodson active -- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that CB Charles Woodson (shoulder, probable) is active for the Packers.

3:03 p.m. ET -- Frank Gore active -- The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that RB Frank Gore (toe, probable) is active for the 49ers. No surprise, and this advice shouldn't be, either: Start him.

3:03 p.m. ET -- Isaac Bruce inactive (again) -- The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that WR Isaac Bruce (ankle, doubtful) is once again inactive for the 49ers. Brandon Jones and Jason Hill are currently locked in a battle for the No. 3 wide receiver spot, though neither one is fantasy-worthy. In other 49ers news, S Dashon Goldson (chest, probable) is active.

3:02 p.m. ET -- Eric Weddle active -- The Chargers' official Web site reports that S Eric Weddle (knee, probable) is active.

3:01 p.m. ET -- Zach Miller inactive -- The Raiders' official Web site reports that TE Zach Miller (concussion, questionable) is inactive. This was expected, and there's a chance we've seen the last of Miller this season. Feel free to cut him loose.

2:56 p.m. ET -- Avant, Curtis active -- ESPN 950 AM in Philadelphia reports that WRs Jason Avant (hamstring, probable) and Kevin Curtis (knee, probable) are active for the Eagles. They'll presumably be used in a rotation against a defense that doesn't typically give up a ton of passing yards. Fantasy owners should look elsewhere for production, with the exception, of course, of DeSean Jackson.

2:56 p.m. ET -- Leonard Weaver active -- ESPN 950 AM in Philadelphia reports that RB Leonard Weaver (hamstring, probable) is active for the Eagles. He'll serve as the backup, and is a fringe flex play in deep leagues at best.

2:56 p.m. ET -- Brent Celek active -- ESPN 950 AM in Philadelphia reports that TE Brent Celek (back, questionable) is active for the Eagles, while Martin Rucker is inactive. Rucker's inactive status makes it likely Celek is ready to take on a full slate of snaps, so if you own him, keep him in there.

2:56 p.m. ET -- Cole, Jordan active -- ESPN 950 AM in Philadelphia reports that DE Trent Cole (hamstring, probable) and LB Akeem Jordan (knee, probable) are both active for the Eagles.

2:47 p.m. ET -- Kellen Winslow active -- The Buccaneers' official Web site reports that TE Kellen Winslow (knee, questionable) is active. There had been some fear he might not be able to go, and he might yet be playing at less than full strength, but the matchup does suit him well, limited or not. If you waited on him, he's good to go.

2:47 p.m. ET -- Sammie Stroughter active -- The Buccaneers' official Web site reports that WR Sammie Stroughter (lower back, questionable) is active. He's not an advised fantasy option, however, despite the favorable matchup on paper at the Seahawks. If you're looking for playable receivers from the Bucs, look to Antonio Bryant first, and perhaps Maurice Stovall in very deep leagues.

2:39 p.m. ET -- Moreno active, Buckhalter not -- The Broncos' official Web site reports that RB Knowshon Moreno (ankle, probable) is active, while RB Correll Buckhalter (ankle, doubtful) is inactive. This was expected, but it's good to hear officially being that Moreno is now a fantastic fantasy option facing the Raiders. He's a strong bet for a top-10 point total at his position.

2:39 p.m. ET -- Tony Scheffler active -- The Broncos' official Web site reports that TE Tony Scheffler (ribs, probable) is active. He's not a recommended fantasy option, however, accounting for his so-so production and a Raiders defense that typically holds tight ends in check.

2:34 p.m. ET -- Scott inactive, Leonard active -- The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that while RB Bernard Scott (toe, questionable) is inactive, RB Brian Leonard (calf, probable) is active, for the Bengals. Neither is a fantasy factor; Cedric Benson remains the running back you want from that backfield, though Larry Johnson might see a few additional carries this week.

2:34 p.m. ET -- Robert Geathers active -- The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that DE Robert Geathers (knee, probable) is active for the Bengals.

12:07 p.m. ET -- Brown, Northcutt, Delmas active -- The Detroit Free Press reports that RB Aaron Brown (knee, questionable), WR Dennis Northcutt (groin, questionable) and S Louis Delmas (ankle, questionable) are all active for the Lions. With Brown healthy, he'll probably share the rushing chores with Maurice Morris. That actually makes both of them less attractive fantasy plays.

12:02 p.m. ET -- Cribbs, Royal, Bowens active -- The Browns' official Web site reports that WR Josh Cribbs (ankle, probable), TE Robert Royal (finger, probable) and LB David Bowens (knee, probable) are all active. Cribbs is the most relevant fantasy option of the lot, and mainly because he has been getting increasing work at running back of late. If your league rewards return exploits, PPR and the like, then Cribbs is a worthwhile sleeper for the week. He might see 5-10 carries, along with his contributions in other facets.

12:00 p.m. ET -- Aiken, Edelman active -- The Patriots' official Web site reports that WRs Sam Aiken (shoulder, questionable) and Julian Edelman (forearm, questionable) are both active. Neither is a fantasy option, however, as the Nos. 3 and 4 men on the depth chart, not to mention the poor matchup at the Bills.

12:00 p.m. ET -- Watson, Bodden active -- The Patriots' official Web site reports that TE Benjamin Watson (knee, questionable) and CB Leigh Bodden (thigh, probable) are both active. Bodden is the more useful fantasy option of the two, and only in IDP formats of course.

11:58 a.m. ET -- Nate Washington active -- The Titans' official Web site reports that WR Nate Washington (ankle, questionable) is active, and also notes that Kenny Britt is active ahead of Justin Gage. Britt is the fantasy sleeper of this bunch, though the matchup does lean surprisingly well to Titans receivers this week, if you're digging deep.

11:56 a.m. ET -- Davone Bess active -- The Palm Beach Post reports that WR Davone Bess (ankle, probable) is active for the Dolphins. It's another useful matchup for the sleeper receiver, one who's especially attractive in PPR formats.

11:56 a.m. ET -- Yeremiah Bell active -- The Palm Beach Post reports that G Yeremiah Bell (knee, probable) is active for the Dolphins.

11:54 a.m. ET -- Vince Young active -- ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that QB Vince Young (hamstring, questionable) is active and starting. It's another favorable matchup for the red-hot quarterback, so fantasy owners either in deeper/two-quarterback leagues or who need a fill-in for the week should take a look.

11:51 a.m. ET -- Calvin Johnson active -- ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that WR Calvin Johnson (knee, questionable) is active for the Lions. Considering the previous news about Daunte Culpepper's starting status, Johnson is a considerably weaker fantasy choice this week. He warrants using in most formats due to the high likelihood the Lions will be passing early and often, but don't expect any week-topping fantasy numbers.

11:51 a.m. ET -- Daunte Culpepper to start -- ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Daunte Culpepper will start at quarterback for the Lions. QB Matthew Stafford (left shoulder, doubtful) is unlikely to be anything but the inactive No. 3 quarterback, so downgrade the entire Lions' offense as a result of this news.

11:50 a.m. ET -- Jairus Byrd active -- The Bills' official Web site reports that S Jairus Byrd (groin, probable) is active. More good news for those in IDP leagues.

11:49 a.m. ET -- Terrell Owens active -- The Bills' official Web site reports that WR Terrell Owens (illness, questionable) is active. He's a solid No. 2/3 fantasy option this week.

11:48 a.m. ET -- Percy Harvin likely to play -- ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that WR Percy Harvin (illness, questionable) is likely to play on Sunday Night Football. That's good news for Harvin's fantasy owners, though he should be regarded as more of a No. 3 option this week accounting for the health risk plus shaky matchup.

11:47 a.m. ET -- Cushing, Williams active -- The Texans' official Web site reports that LB Brian Cushing (foot, probable) and DE Mario Williams (groin, probable) are both active. Great news to those who play in IDP leagues.

11:46 a.m. ET -- Arian Foster active -- The Texans' official Web site reports that RB Arian Foster (ribs, probable) is active. He'll presumably get the bulk of the rushing work, and is a quality pass catcher facing a favorable matchup. If you're hunting for a plug-in for your flex spot, Foster is your man.

11:45 a.m. ET -- Matt Schaub active -- The Texans' official Web site reports that QB Matt Schaub (left shoulder, probable) is active. He has a great matchup this week and is a solid fantasy start versus the Rams.

11:43 a.m. ET -- Gibson, Fells active -- The Rams' official Web site reports that WR Brandon Gibson (illness, questionable) and TE Daniel Fells (illness, questionable) are both active. Considering the team's issues at quarterback, however, neither one warrants a fantasy play.

11:42 a.m. ET -- Jackson, Gado active -- The Rams' official Web site reports that RBs Steven Jackson (illness, questionable) and Samkon Gado (illness, questionable) are both active. Jackson is the clear fantasy choice here, and Gado will be a little-used backup. Kenneth Darby actually stands the better chance at coming on in relief if needed, though he's not at all fantasy-relevant.

11:41 a.m. ET -- Kyle Boller active, but backing up -- The Rams' official Web site reports that QB Kyle Boller (illness, questionable) is active, but he'll serve as Keith Null's backup. Again, this plays tremendously in the Texans' favor.

11:40 a.m. ET -- Peelle, Babineaux active -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that TE Justin Peelle (head, probable) and DT Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder, questionable) are active for the Falcons. Peelle is typically a blocker, and not a fantasy option.

11:39 a.m. ET -- White, Jenkins active -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that WRs Roddy White (knee, probable) and Michael Jenkins (ankle, probable) are both active for the Falcons. White has a potentially brutal matchup versus the Jets and elite cover corner Darrelle Revis, which might have some thinking Jenkins is actually a solid play. Jenkins might be decent bet in very deep PPR leagues, but really all Revis' presence means is that White is more of a standard-league flex type or No. 3 option in deeper formats.

11:38 a.m. ET -- Glenn Dorsey inactive -- The Chiefs' official Web site reports that DE Glenn Dorsey (knee, questionable) is inactive. Heads up, IDP leaguers.

11:36 a.m. ET -- Tim Hightower active -- The Cardinals' official Web site reports that RB Tim Hightower (thumb, probable) is active. He's coming off a week where he was barely used, partly due to his injury, so don't reach for him as anything more than a deep-league flex play, favorable matchup or not.

11:36 a.m. ET -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie active -- The Cardinals' official Web site reports that CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (toe, questionable) is active.

11:34 a.m. ET -- Larry Fitzgerald active -- The Cardinals' official Web site reports that WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee, questionable) is active. Jerheme Urban, predictably, is not. Fitzgerald might not be any stronger play than Anquan Boldin this week, accounting for his injury, but both receivers are standout plays in any format regardless due to the soft matchup against the Lions.

11:32 a.m. ET -- Mark Sanchez active -- The Jets' official Web site reports that QB Mark Sanchez (knee, probable) is active. He'll start against a weak Falcons secondary, though his erratic ways make him a risky fantasy play in all but the deepest two-quarterback leagues.

11:31 a.m. ET -- Tom Brady active -- The Patriots' official Web site reports that QB Tom Brady (right shoulder, probable) is active as expected. The matchup isn't a great one, but he's apparently healthier than he was last week, and the vast majority of fantasy owners cannot afford to sit him, matchup concerns or not, in their playoff matchups.

11:29 a.m. ET -- Winslow's status uncertain -- ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that TE Kellen Winslow (knee, questionable) is believed to be ready to play, but the Buccaneers are unsure. The team leaves for the stadium in 30 minutes, so hopefully we'll get word soon. As that's one of the 4 p.m. ET games, Winslow might be a bit too risky for owners who have a productive alternative available.

11:26 a.m. ET -- Ryan, Turner will start -- ESPN's Rachel Nichols reports that both QB Matt Ryan (toe, questionable) and RB Michael Turner (ankle, questionable) are active and will start. The weather in New York shouldn't be the issue for either; the brutal road matchup versus the Jets is the primary concern here. Neither is a high-profile play, and we might yet see a decent amount of backups Jerious Norwood and Jason Snelling.

11:17 a.m. ET -- Jackson, Null to start -- ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that both RB Steven Jackson (illness, questionable) and Keith Null are expected to start for the Rams. Jackson has to be kept active, at least as a No. 2, in most every fantasy league, but with Null at quarterback, the Texans' defense is in for a nice day.

Ruled out before Sunday: Patriots RB Fred Taylor (ankle, out), leaving Laurence Maroney to start for another week. He's a top-level No. 2 versus the Bills. ... Patriots DE Ty Warren (ankle, out) and DT Vince Wilfork (foot, out), which stacks the matchups in favor of Bills running backs Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch. Jackson is a solid No. 2. ... Cardinals K Neil Rackers (right groin, out), who will be replaced by Mike Nugent. ... Rams QB Marc Bulger (knee, out), though it's unclear whether Kyle Boller (illness, questionable) or Keith Null will start in his place. Either way, the Texans' defense gets a standout matchup. ... Raiders QB Bruce Gradkowski (knee, out), who will be replaced by Charlie Frye. Again, it's the opposing defense (this time the Broncos) that benefits. ... Seahawks WR Nate Burleson (ankle, out), paving the way for Deion Branch to start at split end. Owners in deeper leagues looking for a No. 3/flex can consider Branch. ... Eagles RB Brian Westbrook (concussion, out), meaning LeSean McCoy earns another start, with Leonard Weaver (hamstring, probable) presumably backing him up. ... Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin (foot, out), who is expected to be replaced in the lineup by Reggie Brown. Brown will probably spend all day rotating with Jason Avant (hamstring, probable) and Kevin Curtis (knee, probable), however, meaning none of the three is a strong fantasy play. ... Steelers S Troy Polamalu (knee, out), leaving the team's defense weakened for yet another week. ... Panthers QB Jake Delhomme (right finger, out), to be replaced again by Matt Moore. Here's yet another case where the opposing defense (the Vikings) gets a beneficial matchup.

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